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Tim Watkins

The hidden recession of 2020

After 20 months of economy-wrecking lockdowns and restrictions, 2019 is fondly remembered as a period of prosperous calm.  Memories though, are deceptive.  And in the days before we learned what gain-of-function meant, things were not as rosy as they now seem.  Although the decade 2009-2019 was officially one of the …

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Just don’t say you didn’t know

The arrival of the Omicron variant, just weeks before Christmas, has caused a large part of the establishment media and the neoliberal elite to salivate at the prospect of more lockdowns.  This despite early evidence that the variant is mild even though it appears even more transmissible than the Delta …

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In Brief: depression overload, mitigation (2), more safety traded for peace of mind, nationalisation in all but name

Untreatable depression Mental health has been a tacitly accepted casualty of the pandemic restrictions and lockdowns.  In addition to the anxiety in response to the virus itself, the threat to people’s livelihoods and the prolonged periods of social isolation – including the “social distancing” in previously intimate gatherings – have …

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In the early 1980s, to Margaret Thatcher’s annoyance, union reps and managers at the steelworks in Port Talbot agreed a strategy to save the plant.  As a result, Port Talbot was spared the post-industrial blight visited upon most of Britain’s ex-industrial towns.  Now in private hands, and despite periodic crises, …

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In Brief: Behind the job figures, Blind faith

Not quite so rosy The establishment media has portrayed the latest UK job figures in gushing terms.  And in fairness, things might have been a lot worse.  Nevertheless, the Office for National Statistics offers several caveats not reported in the mainstream.  Such as: “It is possible that those made redundant …

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On health and shipping

It is mid-November, the autumn has been unusually mild, and the NHS has just declared its first crisis of the 2021-22 winter season.  Across the UK, emergency ambulance services are failing because ambulances which should be on station waiting to respond to emergencies like heart attacks, strokes and road traffic …

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